By: Dionne Smith, Community Editor
Sodexo is fairly new to USM and has been integrating upgrades into multiple buildings throughout all three campuses. Last semester, there was a Starbucks booth set up on the first floor of the Glickman Library, which initially received a lot of criticism. Over the summer, upgrades were made to the booth, and now the Starbucks has become closer to what people were hoping for, and more people are satisfied with it.
Last fall, Sodexo sent out a survey and received a large amount of people asking for a second option of coffee. Sodexo was approached by David Nutty, the executive librarian at Glickman, who said that he wanted to add a new concept in the library. Last semester, the Starbucks booth was a few coffee machines with some snacks laid out for customers. There was no menu, and some students complained that the coffee they received was cold. Professor Francesca Vassallo expressed that last semester she felt it was a good concept, but at the time, it was a disappointment.
“I thought the Starbucks opening was a bit misleading in the end.” Vassallo said.
According to Tadd Stone, the general manager at Sodexo for USM Dining Services, the first booth was a test to see how many people would come, and what kind of feedback that it would receive.
“Last year we started with just kind of a counter to see how things would go,” Stone said. He explained that the students were happy with the concept but were looking for more than the average coffee experience.
This semester, the options have grown, with the addition of a variety of healthy items that are quick to grab, the option to buy mochas, lattes, cappuccinos and more with the help of the new espresso machine, and someone who knows how to make every drink on the menu is always present. According to Stone, the number of customers per day currently is approximately 125 customers, which was more than the end of last semester, and that number shows a steady rise, and in comparison to last semester, so far they haven’t received any negative feedback.
“This was something that was requested and as providers on campus we looked to try and meet the needs,” Stone said.
“I feel like it’s a thousand times better than last semester,” said Mariah Ross. a 20-year-old junior majoring in biology and communications. There are many students who also say the same thing. Many of the students expressed feeling satisfied with the Starbucks, making it clear that the improvement made a big difference.
Tadd said that Sodexo is constantly listening to its customers, and that as long as it receives feedback saying that students want more upgrades, Sodexo will do its best to provide satisfactory results, as they have been currently. While the Starbucks has yet to receive any negative feedback, it is still early in the semester, and it’s possible that more negative feedback, and more opinions on what can be improved, will be heard.